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Year 7 to high school information for parents

Year 7 is moving to high school 

Year 7 public school students will be taught in high school from term 1, 2022.  

This means that from 2022, year 6 will be the last year of primary school and year 7 will be the first year of high school.

Year 7 is already part of high school across the country so this move will bring South Australia in line with other states and territories, as well as other education systems in our state.

The Australian Curriculum, which all South Australian students learn, is designed to be taught in a high school setting. High schools offer specialist teachers and facilities, such as science laboratories and performing arts spaces.

South Australia will be ready for the move in 2022. All of our public schools play a role in making the move of year 7 to high school as smooth and successful as possible for our students and their families. 

Visit this page regularly for updates about the move. Your school will also share information about what this move means for your child, so keep an eye out for year 7 to high school updates. 

Some of our South Australian public high schools, such as Clare High School and Seaford Secondary College, are already teaching year 7s. See Clare High School's video below. 

Video transcript

Sharryn Daly: It's been almost 20 years since year 7 has joined our secondary site. I have worked in a number of secondary sites. That's sort of my background and my passion. I really value having new year 7s on the site. I believe the students are very ready. Maturity-wise, you'll find that year 7s these days are far more mature than, perhaps, they were a few years ago. What we find is that after a couple of weeks of being at high school in January and February, they kind of make themselves at home.

Student: On my first day, I realised that there's nothing to actually worry about, and your teachers are here to help you, and they really help you through the process.

Student: I thought it was going to be quite scary, kind of. But it's good. I enjoy it.

Sharryn Daly: They get an opportunity to experience science, tech studies. They get to try home ec. They do media. They do drama. They have a whole range of specialist, elective-type subjects with specialist teachers and specialist facilities.

Student: Changing into different teachers. Not always having the same teachers for every lesson.

Interviewer: Yeah. And how was that?

Student: Really interesting.

Sharryn Daly: My sense was that, often, it was the parent that is concerned about the safety of their child. They are just worried. But what you find if you talk to the students is that a lot of those fears are not warranted. You do find that after a few weeks, the students are intermingling with all students from other year levels.

Student: It feels good.

Student: It feels pretty normal. It doesn't feel really different.

Student: Yeah.

Student: Especially older, more older kids. There's a lot of year 12s, and 10s, and 11s that we didn't have in primary school.

Interviewer: But is that good? Is that-

Student: Yeah.

Student: Yeah.

Student: It's good.

Student: Do your homework.

Student: Don't forget, don't do your homework at the last minute.

Student: Yeah.

[End of transcript]

Many South Australian non-government schools also currently teach year 7s in a high school setting.  

Your school will also share information about what this move means for your child, so keep an eye out for year 7 to high school updates. 

Applying for high school - 2022

From 2022, year 7 will be the first year of high school. This means both year 6 and year 7 students will apply through the department’s statewide transition process to start high school in 2022.

Currently attending a government primary school 

Early in term 2 2021, your primary school will provide you with an online registration of interest form for high school. The form allows you to nominate a public high school or schools you would like your child to attend in 2022. Complete and submit the form by 21 May 2021.

Paper forms will be available from your public primary school if you cannot access the internet. Your primary school can also help you fill out the form.

Families will receive an offer from their allocated secondary school on or by 13 August 2021. This school will provide you with enrolment instructions which you must follow to secure your place.   

Note: accepting an offer will not prevent your child from being considered in later offers, if applicable, or selective special interest program offers from other schools (e.g. round 2 offers). 
If you choose not to accept an offer, please inform your allocated secondary school and government primary school, as soon as possible. 

Currently attending a non-government school

Children who are enrolled at a non-government school (e.g. Catholic or Independent) can contact their local government high school or local education office for a transition pack, or email education.startingsecondaryschool@sa.gov.au for a PDF copy.

See find a school or preschool for more information about your child’s local zoned secondary school.

See your child's enrolment to learn more about starting high school in 2022.

How the move of year 7 to high school will work

Planning is well underway to make sure the move of year 7 to high school is well-managed and considered. Together with the information shared by the department, your school will provide information as plans for the move progress. 

Planning and investment 

South Australia will be ready to move year 7 to high school in 2022. We are investing $185m in schools to manage increasing enrolments and to make sure there is enough space at high schools. This includes general and specialist learning areas for students. 

High schools, area schools and R-12 schools are receiving a share of $2.85m in establishment grants to help them prepare school learning environments and facilities for incoming year 7 students. 

Take a look at our major school upgrades to find out about building works at your local high school. 

School implementation tools

We have provided individual implementation tools for primary and high schools to support the planning and implementation of year 7 to high school in 2022. Our aim is to help ensure a smooth and successful move for year 7 students.  

The plans cover elements such as workforce planning, professional learning, facilities and resource management, parent engagement and student orientation and learning.

Drawing on evidence-based learning

A pilot program with 3 high schools has offered early insights in a range of areas such as:

  • student wellbeing
  • workforce planning
  • continuity of learning
  • communication with families
  • transition processes between primary and high schools.

The year 7 to high school pilot program review is now available, ahead of the statewide move in 2022. 

We are also using learnings from Queensland and Western Australia, who recently moved year 7 to high school, to make sure the move in South Australia in 2022 is as smooth as possible.

Preparing our schools for year 7s

High schools, area schools and R-12 schools are receiving a share of $2.85m in establishment grants to help prepare learning areas for year 7 students starting high school in 2022. 

The funding will go towards things like painting walls, installing lockers, preparing outdoor spaces or purchasing furniture and textbooks so schools can get ready to welcome year 7s to high school.  

The amount of funding schools receive is based on the number of year 7 students and classes the school is expected to have in 2022.

We are excited to welcome our year 7s and 8s when they start high school together for the first time in 2022. 

Read the latest news for more information. Parents and carers should contact their school first for details on what is happening at their individual school.  

School sport and competitions

School sport and competitions in 2021

The year 7 to high school move is a catalyst for School Sport SA to explore how to increase student engagement and participation in school sport, with a focus on ensuring that it is localised and accessible to students.

A working group has been established to look at the opportunities that the move of year 7 to high school in 2022 may bring to school sport.

School Sport SA representatives are consulting with schools and talking directly with students about the best way forward and how student participation in sport and physical activity can be increased in the future.

Primary school state carnivals

In 2021, the current statewide district SAPSASA carnivals will continue to be offered and expanded, where students are selected to represent their district.

These carnivals are popular with students and their parents and offer pathways to interstate school competitions at the interstate level.

Year level sports

Year level based sports will continue to operate and will be expanded to include separate year 6 and 7 events in 2021. Primary schools and district coaches are actively encouraged to include year 6 and 7 students in these increased opportunities, so both year levels have the chance to participate.

School sport and competitions in 2022

The School Sport SA working group will use feedback from the student consultation and consider introducing different activities to provide students in primary and secondary settings with more opportunities to engage in sport and encourage broader participation and greater inclusion.

Further details will be made available by School Sport SA in the future.


Year 7 to High School Project Team

Email: Year7toHS [at] sa.gov.au